William Bristowe

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Cambridge University Expedition to Jan Mayen, 1921 and correspondence by Bristowe relating to Jan Mayen

Administrative / Biographical History

William Syer Bristowe was born on 1 September 1901. He was educated at Wellington College and Cambridge, joining the Cambridge University Expedition (leader James Mann Wordie) to Jan Mayen in 1921. He travelled on a further Cambridge University Expedition to Brazil in 1923. In 1925, Bristowe joined the Brunner Mond, which subsequently merged with ICI the following year. In 1936, he was appointed head of the Far East Department and director of Eastern subsidiary companies, later serving as head of Central Staff Department from 1948 and 1962. His numerous publications include studies of spiders found throughout the world including those in the Arctic and Antarctic. His major work, The Comity of Spiders, was published in two volumes between 1939 and 1941. He died on 11 January 1979.

Published work A book of islands by William Syer Bristowe, G. Bell & Sons London (1969) SPRI Library Shelf (34)[1969]


The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing, London (1994) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Who was who, 1971-1980, Adam and Charles Black London (1989)

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible